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In Depth: Spring Cleaning Roundup!

    Our first "Spring Cleaning" fixathon-- yeah, whoops, it's summer-- has been a huge success! Of course, we owe a bunch of that success to you; a while back, we put out a call for Gaians to post their most-wanted bug fixes and feature improvements, and we mostly ceased all our non-essential programming activities for a little while to buckle down and plow through as many suggestions as possible. Thanks to the tireless dedication of our developers and the enthusiasm of the community, we made some great progress.

    For those who haven't had a chance to catch up, here are just a few of the things that we've improved:

    • Signature length was changed by your request. Instead of giving you 256 characters of URLs and 256 characters of text, we're just going to open it up to 512 characters of text.

    • Unfriending was fixed, meaning that if you unfriend a person, you will be taken off their list as well. Along with this fix, we fixed some exploits in the invite friend feature, and also added proper checking of ignore lists in aquarium and My Gaia.

    • Selling and discarding of multiples is live. You should be able to trash multiple items, and we'll be pushing out a change later this week that allows you to sell back multiple items, as well.

    • New preview options in marketplace will be going out this week. The thread has screenshots of what the feature may look like -- basically, you'll be given tons more options in preview in order to make your shopping / marketplace experience more enjoyable.

    • Inventory Search is now live in Labs. This feature will allow you to easily find stuff in your ever-increasing inventory.

    • Guild Homepage revamp should go live soon. The thread has screenshots of what it will look like, and we are also adding some much-requested features (such as the ability to remove users from a guild).

    • Sparklies are now disabled completely by account settings, and some of the positioning issues are fixed -- there are still some pending bug fixes for positioning under some browsers that will be patched out later.

    • Hiding soulbound items when selling on MP is now live -- there is a checkbox that you can click that automatically hides everything that is soulbound.

    • Reporting of profile comments is now live on the site. This should make it much easier for you to report problematic comments to moderators.

    • Canceling of listings with no bids outside of the time limit is also live.

    • The Trade process is undergoing a massive revamp -- take a peek at the thread if you're interested in what it might look like. This will take us a while, so it's going past the two weeks of Spring Cleaning.

    Beyond that, there were tons of bug fixes, performance tweaks, interface updates and other great stuff. You can see a partial list of stuff we've been up to in this thread. Thanks to all the thoughtful Gaians who posted suggestions and feedback!
Gender Bender Potion: A Big Surprise is Waiting in Your Pants!

    One of the great joys of Gaia is the ability to change your look instantly with thousands of clothes, accessories, hairstyles, weapons, Bape Cows and delicious hot dogs. Messing around with your outfit can get pretty addictive, and a lot of people even tweak their avatars a few times a day.

    But sometimes adjusting the hue of your frock isn't quite enough. Sometimes you need a new look-- a really, really new look.

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    Natasha at the Skin Tyte shop has a new item that offers you just that. The Gender Bender Potion isn't cheap, but there's no better way to revamp your whole steez: when you gulp it down, powerful chemicals take effect and instantly swap your gender-- if you've ever wanted to experience life on the other pants-team, here's your chance.

    It's got some unusual side-effects, too: due to the strange chemistry involved, the potion also randomly changes your hairstyle, eyes and skin. Luckily, Skin Tyte and Salon Durem stock items to change those things, so you can always get your new body looking just how you'd like it.

    If you're feeling adventurous, try it out-- it combines the thrill of a whole new body and the thrill of ingesting powerful, unstable chemicals!
Meet the Staff: Tashabatata

    The Gaia art department recently brought in Tashabatata, the younger sister of legendary Gaia bro-team Brunosmad and Fleep. Along with all of the wit, moxy and talent of her brothers-- and far less of their grumbling, troll-smell and back sweat-- Tashabatata also brings the perspective of a long-time Gaia fan.

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    Tashabatata in full shameless nerd mode

    Since joining the art team, Tashabatata has been a constant source of youthful enlightenment for the old-timers wandering Gaia's hallways, searching for artificial sweeteners and someone to explain what "furries" are. Since she has so many answers, Gaia Action 9 sat down with her to get a few answers of our own.

      Some people say you're an art intern, so let's set the record straight. What do you do at Gaia?

      I'm an art intern! I get to play with a bunch of different creative projects, including drawing, pixeling, and organization. It's like a eating a delicious art salad, without the mouth full of toxic paint!

      Reputable sources, like your older brothers, tell me you were a Gaian before coming to work here. How long have you been a Gaian, and what drew you to become one?

      Well, I became a Gaian back in 2004, when I was really dorking out about this particular animated series. Like, horrendously so. If I recall correctly, I was awkward, 13, and regularly attempting to sew scary, decrepit fan plushies. Those were great times! However, and I think many Gaians can back me on this, being simultaneously a teenager and a dork is not without its hardships. Those are the years when kids feel a ton of pressure to fit in-- and if you were a huge nerdlinger like me, you'd know that it's hard to crawl into a comfortable niche.

      Gaia, to my great joy, gave me that niche for a few years. While punks at school were giving me guff, I managed to connect with my kind of people in the forums. I found Gaia to be a place where I could really be myself without being judged -- it was essentially my geek sanctuary. Oh, and for the record, I frequently use geek as a term of endearment!

      Beside that oh-so-wonderful part of my Gaia experience, I also just admired the art and creativity that the site fostered. It was a breath of fresh air to inhabit an artistically-inclined community.

      Why did you want to be an art intern at Gaia?

      First of all, I have always loved drawing. I'm pretty sure I was doodling on the walls of my mother's uterus when I was but a shrimp of a fetus, I love it so much. All disturbing imagery aside, the prospect of actually doing what I love for a website that I love was an exciting one. I knew it would involve a ton of work, and because of that, I was certain it would be a very challenging experience-- which would inevitably help me grow as an artist tremendously.

      If you could have anyone in the world draw you, who would it be, and why?

      Bruce Timm! I've always loved his adorable, ovary-explodingly cute character designs. Do I want to be drawn by the guy who created Harley Quinn? Hell yeah!

      What is a normal day at Gaia like for you? What are you working on now?

      A normal day at Gaia for me involves nomming on cereal, listening to music, and many attempts at cranking out art with my tablet. Of course, since I wouldn't consider myself a particularly seasoned artist, I often ask others to look over my work and make sure that the arms I draw look like arms, as opposed to, I dunno, shapeless sausages.

      Right now, I'm working on drawing general chunks of clip art that can be used by other artists when needed. I really enjoy this project in particular, because it gives me a lot of freedom in terms of what I get to draw. It forces me to tap into my creative juices (that always sounded gross to me) and push myself to draw stuff outside of my comfort zone. It's neat!

      Do I have something stuck in my teeth?

      Yes, it's disgusting. Get out of my sight.
Summer Event Update: It's Almost Here!

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    Something very big is on its way, Gaians! While the details are still sketchy, I can tell you that an epic journey is in store, one that will take you to the farthest reaches of Gaia. Given the dangerous and unruly nature of Gaia's scarcely explored frontier regions, I think it's safe to assume there'll be a lot of casualties this summer, not to mention countless outbreaks of dysentery and many horrible snake bites.

    I can't help but wonder if this journey has anything to do with the sudden surge in airship production? Either way, it'd be a good idea to start packing for a long trip.

    Our pre-event is starting soon! You'll get a glimpse at a brand new storyline manga and some fun minicomics to get you ready for the event. Be sure to come back every day to grab special Gaia Stickers-- you can get them for participating in Gaia events, and trade them in later for cool items. Stay tuned!
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Woopwoop, can't wait for the event!
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Eff yeah, Summer event!!
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Friendly Shapeshifter

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Yes, summer event~ heart Shame it's happening when some people are going back to school though.
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So baby keep my heart beat b-beat beat beating. And the soul reason i keep believing,

: O Can't wait for the summer event and even the pre-event!

and we're gonna die like this you know oh oh oh
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About damn time. =/ Summer is almost over now.
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Sticker collecting? But I won't be here! gonk

-sulks in corner for the second time today-
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oooh event <3
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mean mina's Partner

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and then the summer event was delayed for another month.
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Romantic Genius

Can't wait!

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